Kate says . . .
I was having a great chat with a friend not long ago and the topic of temptation came up! As we were talking about it, my friend said to me, “You should blog about temptation, I think it is needed!” We had a great conversation and I agree it is something that we all deal with, so therefore it is a part of marriage!
The question my friend was asking was, “Why, when you are working hard at your marriage, putting it second in your life, and things are going well, does temptation seem to find you?” I thought this was an excellent question and an excellent observation! Temptation comes at many times in our lives. It comes during sad times, lonely times, happy times and awesomely wonderful times! It comes sometimes when we least expect it and other times it is right there when we are looking for it! It comes in many different shapes, sizes and forms!
We all have given into temptation in our lives and felt the effects of the sin! Many times there are earthly consequences involved with sinning. The consequences may be physical, emotional and always have a spiritual aspect!
What is temptation, and why does it show up right on our heels when things are going good in our marriage? Temptation will be there in the bad times too, pretty much always, but I wanted to specifically address why temptation presents itself when we are doing well!The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says that temptation is: “the act of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to evil.” In the Bible we see that temptation is also a form of testing. There are many times in the Bible where God allows
Satan to tempt people in order to test them. To see if they will turn to him and rely on him or if they will give in to the power of temptation.
So wives, the question remains, why does this happen? You too may have asked yourself this very same question! When you are keeping Jesus as your center and putting your marriage/spouse as the second priority, Satan starts to get worried, really worried! Satan’s self appointed purpose, is to keep as many souls (people) away from the saving grace and life that Jesus offers! He is willing to do whatever he needs to to accomplish his goal! When your are focused on God and His will for your marriage, you are also pulling closer to God! Temptation starts to come our way, because Satan has everything to lose by you having a solid marriage built on the foundation of His word!
Satan likes it when we are at odds with our spouse. No, I should say he LOVES it! He loves it when we are not experiencing the regular sexual intimacy with our hubbys! He loves it when we over prioritize our children above our marriage, making them kids the center. He loves it when we or our hubbys spend way too much time at work, instead of at home with our family! He loves it when we wives have a spirit of irritation with our husbands day and night! He loves it when we get caught up in media and spend all our extra time there! He loves to see, cause and capitalize on disconnect with our spouse, because it results in a disconnect from our onefleshness! (no that is not a word, but I am making it one) If Satan can keep us from experiencing God’s plan for “one flesh” with our spouse everyday , then he has a better chance at keeping us from God himself! That is his plan and goal. So when we are doing well, Satan has much to lose and kicks it into high gear!
The next great question my friend asked me was, “That seems really conceited to think I am that important to Satan. Do you really think that is true?” To that I said, YES!!! Yes, wives we are that important to Satan! As I said, if he can keep us disconnected from our hubbys then he has a better chance to gain our soul! But I reminded my friend, while you are very important to Satan, YOU ARE ONLY A NUMBER TO HIM!!! There is no real caring about you, he only wants to win as many souls away from God as possible!
I know that some of you out there may be thinking this is a bit extreme, but Brad and I feel there is real spiritual warfare for souls out there! And a great place to attack us is our marriage! We were designed to be a united, one flesh, front in our marriage! God designed us with a need, for each other. That need keeps us connected, attentive and fulfilled! I am not talking about sexual need alone here, but the need for a one flesh connection with your hubby! Satan can definitely attack us when our marriage is rough and in times of trouble, but don’t be fooled into thinking that when you are on track that he will not also try very hard to tempt you!
How will he attack you, you may ask? In any way he can, is the easiest answer. But also many times it will be in an areas that you struggle. Or in an area that you enjoy very much, but could easily be taken to extreme or excess causing you to sin!Here are temptations to watch for when things are going well in your marriage:
Temptation in your marriage can come in the form of another person of the opposite sex
! Always be weary of having close personal relationships with other men. It is ok, to be friends with other men, but not a good idea to be super close. Also, something Brad and I do, is to make sure we are never alone with someone of the opposite sex. This means in the car, at home, at someone else’s home, etc. Getting your mind thinking like this is a good thing and it will only serve to strengthen your marriage.Infidelity in marriage is huge these days, but emotional affairs, specifically for woman, can be a big temptation. An emotional affair is simply having your “needs” met by someone other then who should be meeting them, your hubby. “The grass always looks greener on the other side” mentality! A word of warning wives, you don’t have to have sex with another person to have cheated on your husband! This sounds extreme, but I believe emotional affairs are just as sinful as sexual ones! Your emotional intimacy needs to be protected! It along with all other intimacy is specifically designed for your hubby!
Temptation can come in the form of a girl friend. Girl friends can be the biggest blessing or the biggest hindrance in your marriage. Seek wise, Christ centered friends to share your inner most life with. Spend limited amounts of time with friends who you feel bring you down or are constantly down on your hubby and marriage. When you have a few friends who you can trust, then you will know they are giving you sound advice about your marriage, especially when they need to hold you accountable. The will be firm, but positive and cover your marriage relationship with prayer!
Temptation can come in the form of TV, Facebook, Surfing the net, books, drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc! As we always say, the list is endless. A good thing to remember is that temptation is not always bold and in your face! Satan is very good at creeping it into your life and marriage, with things you would not have expected! He uses the less obvious sometimes, so that you will be off guard or not recognize it when it comes your way! It may seem like a good thing at the time, it may seem like just what you need! Be weary and pray about all things. The closer you are to God and to your spouse the better you will be at discerning when something is a miss or just doesn’t seem quite right!
Sin can seem so daunting and hard to resist, but the good news is, we have Jesus on our side and Satan is no match for Him! Jesus promises us in 1 Corinthians 10: 12-14 that he will always be there when we are tempted and he will provide a way out for us!
“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-14 (NLT)
“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong,[a] and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” James 1:12-16 (NLT)